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Accountant, The (Blu-ray)
Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.]]>
- The Accountant in Action
- Behavioral Science
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I liked it. I find that quite a few of my autistic friends did as well. This reaction is not universal.
There are many things that reviewers in the autistic community find fault with. I concur on many points, especially the physical transformation of the protagonist, but not so much as to dim my overall appreciation. As well, the sound+light+stim sensory scenes have been a real challenge for me, especially when I first saw this film in a theatre.
I loved what they did with the puzzle piece, which is often hated in the adult Autistic community for reasons that wouldn't fit here. There were myriad other touches that spoke "my tribe" to me. The revelation of the actual identity of the other most important female character evoked tears.
I'll watch it again.
EDIT: I've now seen this piece five times. There is something new to notice every time. (My particular sensory processing issue means that lots of details will escape me, as it takes me quite a while to interpret what I'm looking at. Going grocery shopping with me is reportedly a difficult experience.)
Ben Affleck plays the autistic Christian Wolff (Seth Lee as a boy) who was raised by his Army father (Robert C. Treveiler) and brother (Jake Presley). His mother couldn’t deal with Christian’s behavior and bailed on the family. Dear old dad taught the boys to be self-sufficient and to be there for each other. He also taught them close combat fighting and shooting. You know, to protect them from bullies. When we jump ahead, we find Christian in a small store-front accounting firm handling middling tax returns for a farmer. In return, Chris gets to use the land for target shooting. His favorite weapon is a Barrett M82A1M - .50 BMG rifle. And he’s very accurate from a mile away.
So, while it is true that Chris gets involved in cooking the books for unsavory foreigners in return for cash and other valuables, he occasionally gets a legitimate gig which now includes a high end robotic manufacturer. One that makes various limbs and such. The company is headed by Lamar Black (John Lithgow) and COO, Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart). A young accountant in the firm, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) found a wrinkle in the books but can’t reconcile the cause. Chris is brought in to figure it out. He does which leads to fatal consequences for some of the company’s employees and puts Dana and himself in serious jeopardy.
We soon learn that Chris is not only whip-smart with math but is equally good in hand-to-hand combat and advanced weaponry. The domestic thug in charge is a guy named Brax (Jon Bernthal). As the plot advances we learn how he is involved in the corporate shenanigans. The film is directed by Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”) who has a good handle on many of the close in scenes as well the wider expanse of the action pieces, of which there are several. Afflect, as he has shown as Batman, can handle his action responsibilities with relish. The staid demeanor of Chris reflects his autism but never gets in the way of his skills. If anything it improves his focus. Sure the film occasionally goes off the rails in terms of credulity, but overall this is an entertaining actioner with a satisfactory conclusion that suggests more to come. Recommended.
Double Oscar winner Ben Affleck plays a guy suffering from what seems to the audience to be a form of autism. He has a great difficulty communing with other people but he has a strong affinity for numbers. Numbers, figures, tallies and the like he can handle with ludicrous ease, people not so much. So he makes a career for himself as an accountant. Great, a story of a determined man who by dint of effort overcomes a debilitating mental handicap. We have a story to inspire and encourage.
Well, lets take a breath. He succeeds by dint of effort, true, but also by hard training by his dad who never gave up on him. His clients are criminals of the worst sort who hire the precisely focused number cruncher to ferret out leaks in their money vaults. Maybe we should not be so easily inspired. Things take a very dangerous, bloody turn. He is as precise with weapons as he is with numbers.
Director Gavin O'Connor has made several other films with the 2004 Miracle working out the best for him at the box office. Writer Bill Dubuque has only the Robert Downey Jr. film The Judge on his sheet so far, quite a good effort. Between the two of them we receive the most intricate and interesting story of the year. And we receive some of the most interesting characters, especially the Accountant himself and the T-man played by J.K. Simmons. The film is long enough that we have the back story of the main character filled up and filled in.
Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick plays the leading lady, another accountant, who gets mixed up in the dangerous world of The Account, played by Affleck. Kendrick is well known for her comic roles but she certainly can act successfully in this crime drama. Other notable back up actors include twice Oscar nominated John Lithgow and recent Oscar winner J. K. Simmons. Also seen are Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), character actor Jeffrey Tumbor and Cynthia Addai-Robinson in a very strong and nuanced performance as a federal agent. For a successful movie, hire the best actors you possibly can and then give them something totally fascinating to do. Director Gavin O'Connor and his writer Bill Dubuque did exactly that.
This crime drama with an autistic twist runs for a good long two hours and 8 minutes. It carries an R rating for plenty of bloody violence and a surplus of bad words. Please pay attention to the ratings when you think of bringing the smaller people to see this film.
This film achieves the rare five saw blade award. Watch for this one at next year's Oscars.